Canadian company Transformix knows the secret to making manufacturing work – add value and have a good neighbor. Everything else will take care of itself. So when the tsunami hit Japan, Transformix CEO Peng-Sang Cau did not worry about the impact. She bought more supplies. Ms. Cau does not worry about from where her parts come. She is too busy guiding the company in what it does best, which is utilizing intellectual capital to design high speed manufacturing equipment prized by other companies, particularly those in the United States.
We typically think of productivity as an internal element that creates a competitive advantage. For Transformix, it is something different. What is it?
What is Transformix’ competitive advantage as a middle player in the supply chain?
Discuss how Transformix blends manufacturing and service technology to add value.
Use Figure 18.2 to analyze Ms. Cau’s decision making following the March 11 disaster in Japan.
The annual World Wide Developer Conference is a much anticipated event because it has been the venue of choice for Steve Jobs to announce new offerings by Apple. However, this year’s event has been preceded by carefully timed “leaks” of information indicating that the new announcement by Jobs will relate to the launch of iCloud, a service providing remote access to media. The service will replace the dismal MobileMe.
Does Apple need/have social capital? If so, with whom? How might the timing and location of product/service announcements influence social capital?
From the standpoint of effective and efficient communication, discuss why Apple historically prefers to announce the launch of new products and services at the World Wide Developer Conference. Do you have any idea why Apple chose to make a pre-announcement?
Steve Jobs will temporarily suspend his medical leave of absence to attend WWDC and make Apple’s product/service announcement. Why (i.e., why is it important for Mr. Jobs to make these announcements)?
Discuss how beta testing, pre-announcements, and announcements to developers are consistent with the notion of feedback.
The Vancouver Canucks, leading the Stanley Cup Finals 2-0 over the Boston Bruins, seem to have luck on their side. While the Bruins may come back and win the championship, things definitely seem to be going the Canucks’ way. Few knowledgeable people believe that the success of the Vancouver franchise hinges on luck. Other factors definitely play a role.
Review the many different ways in which Vancouver has been winning and then discuss this in light of teamwork. We often use the term “team” rather loosely. What makes the Canucks a team?
Rather than write off the Canucks previous failures as “bad luck” or the current successes as “good bounces,” examine what is taking place from the standpoint of how teams work. Focus on the inputs and throughputs that produce desired outputs in this case. How do the inputs for the current team different from the past? As you read the final few sentences of the article, what does this example suggest about the way players interact and work together? Why is this important?
While task and maintenance roles seem to apply to team meetings, discuss how the Canucks are able to accomplish several of these activities in order to be successful.
The world-wide recession was driven in large part by numerous failures in two key industries – banking and automotive. In the United States, many of the big players in both industries required substantial bailouts from the Government to survive. On the financial side, J.P. Morgan Chase was considered one of the more stable banks, as its top management team managed to stay intact and avoid much of the scrutiny other companies endured. However, as the global economy remains stifled, Morgan is looking very closely at its management team and making changes that it believes will usher in a new era.
What model of change leadership is J.P. Morgan Chase utilizing? What are its reasons for doing so?
Do you believe the changes likely to occur will be incremental or transformational? Why? Since J.P. Morgan seems to be doing well, what are the drivers of these changes?
What are the likely targets of these changes (i.e., what aspects of the company will the changes influence)?
Assume that J.P. Morgan is attempting to implement broad (organization-wide) change. What is the best change strategy to utilize? What is your rationale?
While we do not know the reasons for Heidi Miller’s pending retirement and Todd Maclin’s job shift, would moving top management out/to other positions be an effective way to deal with resistance change? Why or why not?